Gail's Gab: water shortages and the UK's grotesque wage gap

What a fiasco we had on Friday.

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Tommy was having his obligatory monthly poker night and had invited 12 guests. I had the cleaning and shopping to do for this event plus I was going out with my friend Maureen for a wee girlie jaunt to the West End. Everything, however, was under control until I returned with the shopping to be told by Tommy, as he flew out the door to play squash, 'oh by the way there's no water!'

No water for cleaning. No flush for beer drinking poker players. No water for washing my hair and no water for a stinky squash player when he returned. From approximately 11.30am till after 7pm Cardonald, Penilee, Govan, Ibrox, Bellahouston, Mosspark, Pollok, Darnley, Renfrew and Paisley were without water. Hairdressers, restaurants, food shops, you name it, all without water. How on earth did they cope? But of course more alarming was those elderly people who live alone and were very concerned. Mums with wee babies who are constantly boiling water and families where the kids are never out of the toilet were frantic as no time was given as to when water would be restored.

My little predicament was obviously minuscule compared to others. Tommy advised his poker pals that a bucket would be put in the garden. I cleaned the house with raw bleach so that it was nippy eyes time but the shower situation was still to be solved. Then Alice, Tommy's mother who lives along the road from us, told us that her water supply was still on. Low and behold it was. How? Why? Was she the only one? Who knows? But it was a bit eerie for me. I'll definitely be a lot nicer to my lovely mother-in-law from now on!

The gap is grotesque

A new report published yesterday by the High Pay Centre think tank has revealed the gap in wages between the bosses of Britain's 100 largest companies and the workers in those companies has soared to an average of 143 to 1. So Britain's biggest bosses are now paid 143 times more than the workers who, in my opinion, do all the work. It really is a grotesque gap in incomes. It is surely also unproductive.

The figures don't just reflect how high the bosses are paid but how low the average worker is paid as well. Rich billionaire bosses have more than enough money to live 100 lives. Their money tends to be hoarded and is not helping society as a whole while low paid workers struggle to make ends meet each month and often have to do without essentials and require means tested benefits just to survive. In other words ordinary folk have to subsidise the low pay paid by big bosses through general taxation. The majority of housing benefit now paid out by the welfare system for instance is to workers whose wages are so low they can't afford their rents. Surely it is not rocket science to pay those at the bottom more and those at the top less to make society fairer and more productive. No boss, regardless of who they are, is worth 43 times their workers' pay never mind 143 times. It is a scandal and it should be sorted out.

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